H.C.R. NO.



H.D. 1















     WHEREAS, Hawaii is an island state, the last state of the current union of 50 states that make up the greatest country in the world, the United States of America; and


WHEREAS, while the natural beauty and environmental wonders of Hawaii are recognized throughout the world, it is Hawaii's inner and social beauty, and the beauty of its people, that make it unique among the 50 states of the Union; and


     WHEREAS, Hawaii has a long and proud history as a kingdom, republic, territory, and now a state of the Union--a history, like most great civilizations, filled with periods of magnificent achievement, peace, and turmoil; and


     WHEREAS, once an island nation in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, the destiny of the Kingdom of Hawaii would soon be altered by world events, leading to the eventual annexation into the United States of America and full admission into the Union of the United States as the 50th State; and


     WHEREAS, in 1854, King Kauikeaouli Kamehameha III directed his Minister of Foreign Relations to ascertain the views of the United States regarding annexation of the Hawaiian islands and the terms and conditions under which the annexation could be obtained; and


     WHEREAS, in 1897, the Republic of Hawaii ratified a Treaty of Annexation and offered it to the United States.  The offer was accepted by a joint resolution of Congress and signed by President William McKinley in 1898; and


     WHEREAS, in 1900, President William McKinley signed the Organic Act establishing the government of the Territory of Hawaii, including a provision that all persons who were citizens of the Republic of Hawaii on August 12, 1898, were now citizens of the Territory of Hawaii and of the United States; and


     WHEREAS, Hawaii's first Territorial Delegate to Congress, Robert Wilcox, a former royalist, was elected on a pledge that "The first bill I shall introduce will be one to admit Hawaii to Statehood"; and


     WHEREAS, in 1903, the elected Territorial Legislature, with more than 70 percent of its members being native Hawaiian, unanimously passed a joint resolution asking Congress for an enabling act to convene a constitutional convention to create a constitution for a proposed State of Hawaii; and


     WHEREAS, in 1919, Hawaii's elected Territorial Delegate to Congress Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana'ole, introduced into Congress the first bill for Hawaii statehood; and


     WHEREAS, on November 5, 1940, the Hawaii general election ballot included the question "Do you favor Statehood for Hawaii?" with the vote being 46,174 "Yes" and 22,438 "No"--or 67 percent in the affirmative; and


     WHEREAS, in 1949, a special election was held to elect delegates to a constitutional convention to draft a constitution for a proposed State of Hawaii.  The draft constitution was then approved by a special session of the Territorial Legislature on July 15, 1950, and ratified in the general election of November 7, 1950, by a vote of 82,788 "Yes" and 27,109 "No"--or 75 percent in the affirmative; and


     WHEREAS, United States Senate Report 886 of January 27, 1954, associated with a bill for statehood, indicated that 33 bills for statehood had been introduced by Hawaii's Territorial Delegates between 1919 and 1954; and


     WHEREAS, in 1954, a petition seeking statehood was signed by approximately 120,000 citizens of Hawaii, and was given a celebratory sendoff, including hula, chants, music, kahili and torch bearers from the Hawaiian civic clubs, at the front entrance of the Territorial capitol building at the time-- Iolani Palace; and


     WHEREAS, during the 1950s, Republican Territorial Delegates Joseph Farrington and Elizabeth Farrington, and Democrat Territorial Delegate John Burns, Republican Governors Samuel Wilder King and William Quinn, and a large majority of Hawaii's citizens all strongly supported statehood; and


     WHEREAS, in 1958, Democrat Territorial Delegate John Burns, working closely with Democrat Senate Majority Leader Lyndon B. Johnson, Democrat Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn, and Republican Governor William Quinn, successfully negotiated the two-step political compromise under which Alaska was admitted as the 49th state in 1958 and Hawaii became the 50th state in 1959; and


     WHEREAS, on March 11, 1959, the United States Senate passed a Hawaii statehood bill by a vote of 76-15; the United States House of Representatives passed the same bill on March 12, 1959, by a vote of 323-8;, and President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the bill into law on March 18, 1959, offering statehood to Hawaii, pending ratification by Hawaii's people; and


     WHEREAS, in the statehood plebiscite on June 27, 1959, 140,744 ballots were cast on Proposition 1, which asked:  "Shall Hawaii immediately be admitted to the Union as a state?"  The vote was 132,773 "Yes" to 7,971 "No," thereby confirming an overwhelming majority of 94 percent in favor of statehood; and


     WHEREAS, on August 21, 1959, President Dwight Eisenhower proclaimed that, "the procedural requirements imposed by the Congress on the state of Hawaii to entitle that state to admission to the Union have been complied with in all respects and that the admission of the state of Hawaii into the Union on an equal footing with other states of the Union is now accomplished"; and


     WHEREAS, on August 24, 1959, Republican Senator Hiram L. Fong, Democrat Senator Oren E. Long, and Democrat Representative Daniel K. Inouye, elected after the plebiscite of June 27, 1959, took their oaths of office in Washington, D.C., to represent the State of Hawaii in Congress, while Republican William Quinn became the State's first elected governor; and


     WHEREAS, Hawaii's Admission Day holiday, now officially referred to as "Statehood Day", annually celebrates the political joining of America and Hawaii, giving the world a model of people celebrating great cultural diversity while unified in the Aloha Spirit, democracy, and equality under law; and


     WHEREAS, 2009 will mark the 50th Anniversary of Hawaii's admission into the Union, a year that will be filled with celebrations, remembrance, and events to mark this historic occasion; and


     WHEREAS, March 18, 2009, will mark the 50th Anniversary of the enactment of federal law by President Dwight D. Eisenhower that officially offered statehood to the people of Hawaii; now, therefore,


     BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Twenty-fifth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2009, the Senate concurring, that 2009 shall be celebrated as the 50th Anniversary of Hawaii's admission into the Union of the United States of America as the 50th State; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the two houses of the Legislature assemble in Joint Session in the Chamber of the House at 12:00 p.m., on Wednesday, March 18, 2009, to mark the anniversary of the federal law that officially offered statehood to the people of Hawaii.




Report Title: 

Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Hawaii's admission into the Union of the United States of America as the 50th State.